Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn Chicken
A new, unofficial hobby of mine has been to find different ways to incorporate salted egg yolk (from cooked salted duck eggs) into various dishes. The most common way I've eaten salted duck eggs have been in plain rice porridge (especially during childhood and usually when I was sick). In recent years, I discovered Singaporean style salted egg crab which absolutely blew my mind. Since then, I started noticing salted egg yolk pop up in the least expected ways -- including chips! If they can go with chips, I figured the next safest test would be on tater tots.
My next bet after ultimately ended up being chicken, but specifically fried chicken. Seeing how many versions of fried chicken wings are out there, I wanted to test it on a similar concept but on "popcorn" style chicken. To some surprise, I really enjoyed the unique savory taste and added depth in flavors. Curious on what your thoughts are!
Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn Chicken
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Yields: 2 Servings
1/2 lb boneless chicken thighs
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg (beaten)
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Canola oil (for frying)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cooked salted duck eggs
1 tbsp evaporated milk
Cut chicken thighs into small ~1" pieces.
In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, Shaoxing, garlic powder, sugar, and salt. Add chicken and toss all ingredients evenly together. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes.
In the meantime, set up 3 shallow bowls. Add flour in first bowl, egg in second bowl, and Panko in third bowl.
Place frying pan or pot over medium high heat. Add oil, enough to fill about 1.5" of pan/pot.
Once chicken is marinated and oil is hot, dredge chicken in flour, then in the egg, then in Panko. Carefully place in the hot oil. Let fry for about 5, then move chicken around to evenly cook all sides. Let fry for another 3-5 minutes (or until popcorn chicken is golden brown and crispy). Internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees F.
Transfer popcorn chicken to bowl with paper towel (to soak up excess oil). Set aside
In the same frying pan/pot, carefully add the basil leaves. Let fry for about 3 minutes (or until basil leaves have reduced in size and are crispy). Transfer to a new plate with paper towel to soak up excess oil. Set aside.
Slice cooked salted duck eggs into halves. Scoop out just the yolks into a small bowl. Use a fork or spoon to mash into a paste-like texture. (You can discard the egg whites or repurpose for different dish).
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add evaporated milk. Once liquid starts to boil, reduce to low heat. Careful not to burn butter. Add mashed egg yolks and mix all ingredients together. Turn off stove.
In a large bowl, add your already made popcorn chicken. Add the sauce to the bowl and evenly toss all ingredients together.
Transfer salted egg yolk popcorn chicken to serving bowl. Garnish with your already made fried basil. Add additional salt (to taste, if needed). Serve warm and enjoy!